Before I post a book review, I like to read the book. All of it. But I received one earlier this week that would be impossible for me to read in its entirety, digest it all, and post a review before it ever comes out in its second paperback printing. And mark my word, it will have a second printing.
Two Christmases ago, our older daughter asked for a good basic book on gardening. She was brand new to the
pastime obsession - just a few years behind her mother - and she needed some basic information on how to do it. Oh, how I wish The Perennial Care Manual: A Plant-by-Plant Guide: What to Do & When to Do It by Nancy J. Ondra had been in publication then!
This book is, in a word, comprehensive. When I think of the time and effort that went into this book so that beginning and veteran gardeners would have a good manual of reference when it comes to growing perennials, the book should cost three times its list price of $24.95.
The lengthy subtitle - A Plant-By-Plant Guide: What to Do & When to Do It - is the key to the value of this manual. Taking 125 popular plants and discussing planting, staking, pruning, mulching, dividing, and propagating pretty much gives you all you need to know to grow a successful and varied perennial garden. Rob Cardillo supplies the appropriate and beautiful photography to support the information.
No, this isn't a book to be picked up, read cover-to-cover, then put back on the shelf. It's as the title touts - a manual. You'll turn to it again and again for its good advice, tried and tested by Nancy herself.
The Perennial Care Manual: A Plant-by-Plant Guide: What to Do and When to Do It (paperback)
by Nancy J. Ondra
$24.95 List Price (Amazon Price: $16.47)
Hardcover also available
Nancy J. Ondra is the author or coauthor of 11 gardening books, including Grasses, The Perennial Gardener's Design Primer, and Foliage, for which she won the American Horticultural Society Book Award. She is a member of the Hardy Plant Society and gardens on four acres in Bucks County, Pennsylvania. She is a contributing author to the blog Gardening Gone Wild, as well as her personal gardening blog, Hayefield.
Rob Cardillo has been photographing gardens, plants, and the people who tend them for more than 20 years. He captures plants at their best for books and magazines, horticultural suppliers, and landscape designers throughout the United States.
Pam of Digging
Carol of May Dreams Gardens
Dee of Oklahoma Examiner
The product or merchandise being reviewed in this blog post was the sole compensation for testing and reviewing the product. All opinions expressed here are mine, with no suggestions whatsoever by the manufacturer or distributor. If I like it, I'll say so. If I don't, I'll say that, too.